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New here! Ativan taper belp


[Ma...]

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Hello everyone! 
I started with my journey with PAWS from ssris In April/may of this year landing me with severe symptoms including akathisia and persistent SI that led me to taking Ativan which was a life saver. I have been taking intermittently through may and June, but have now been 0.25 mg daily only for about 11 weeks.
 

My doctor told me to cut in half for a week and then stop.this didn’t go well. I most recently tried to cut 5% and am at 0.237 mg and I started waking at 3 am panicking and waiting until 6 to take the Ativan so I’m assuming this is withdrawal. What is the timeline for adjusting to withdrawal symptoms after a cut? Im surprised I reacted like this to such a small cut after not even being on 3 full months. 
 

ps i am also kindled and my nervous system is in pretty bad shape from the ssri reinstatement I did so I’m trying to stabilize on that end but my akathisia has widely improved and I don’t want to be on the benzo anymore..

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Hello @[Ma...] - welcome to BenzoBuddies!  

I'm sorry you're going through a rough time with getting off Ativan.  Like most of us you're finding out the hard way how immensely helpful benzos can be short term and what a nightmare it can be to get off of them.  

I think you're on the right track in making it your goal to stabilize your nervous system first.  Getting on the right consistent dose and staying there for a bit may be the answer.  But first It will help us to have more information about your current dosing.  When you have a chance please fill out your history using the following instructions:

 

https://benzobuddies.org/topic/271314-notice-how-to-add-your-medicationtaper-history-to-your-profile/#comment-3448870

Please fill in your medication history, taper details and any other pertinent information.  This allows anyone to see at a glance what has been happening rather than going back through all of your posts. This helps others provide the best feedback for your situation.

Profile => Edit profile (top-right of profile banner) => Add succinct use/taper/withdrawal history to 'History' text box => click 'Save' (bottom-right).

 

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On 14/09/2023 at 10:05, [[B...] said:

Hello @[Ma...] - welcome to BenzoBuddies!  

I'm sorry you're going through a rough time with getting off Ativan.  Like most of us you're finding out the hard way how immensely helpful benzos can be short term and what a nightmare it can be to get off of them.  

I think you're on the right track in making it your goal to stabilize your nervous system first.  Getting on the right consistent dose and staying there for a bit may be the answer.  But first It will help us to have more information about your current dosing.  When you have a chance please fill out your history using the following instructions:

https://benzobuddies.org/topic/271314-notice-how-to-add-your-medicationtaper-history-to-your-profile/#comment-3448870

Please fill in your medication history, taper details and any other pertinent information.  This allows anyone to see at a glance what has been happening rather than going back through all of your posts. This helps others provide the best feedback for your situation.

Profile => Edit profile (top-right of profile banner) => Add succinct use/taper/withdrawal history to 'History' text box => click 'Save' (bottom-right).

I am literally trying to figure this out and can’t! I go to edit profile and I don’t see a history text box anywhere. I’m not super well so maybe I just can’t figure it out or this is not able to be done on my phone 

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Here’s my history:

March 9-miscarriage stop steroids, plaquenil, progesterone, estrogen, Benadryl, pepcid, Claritin, antibiotics, valtrex, lovenox.

March 20-develop widespread hypersensitivity including to long term (18 year) use of viibryd and trazodone.
May 5-Cold turkeyed by provider 

june 6-reinstate viibryd after having severe withdrawal and akathisia

june 26-start prn Ativan 0.25-1mg 

july 15-start daily am Ativan 0.25 to combat akathisia and cortisol rushes. Take extra prn 0.25 mg maybe 4 Times since this date. Start Lunesta HS as getting zero sleep and trialed all other meds for sleep with adverse side effects. 

September 10-drop Ativan to 0.237 mg. 
 

still having severe waves where it feels I’m unmedicated (severe stress response, adrenaline surges, cortisol, akathisia, neuropathy, tremors, panic, depression) and side effects to the drugs correlating with peak serum time (blurred vision, headaches, severe dizziness). Still hypersensitive to every drug and now food

Was told by doc to hold until I stabilize but Iv been back on 5 months and my menstrual cycle I feel like is kindling me more. Afraid to stay on Ativan any longer 

 

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6 hours ago, [[M...] said:

I am literally trying to figure this out and can’t! I go to edit profile and I don’t see a history text box anywhere. I’m not super well so maybe I just can’t figure it out or this is not able to be done on my phone 

Hi @[Ma...]

I've done it for you. 

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I’m also having severe withdrawal symptoms during my menses and right before that seems to be getting worse each month. I really don’t know what to do I’m desperate.

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Hi @[Ma...], you mentioned in chat you’re having difficulty posting, are you still? 

I’ve read many of our members experience greater symptom severity during their periods, its pretty common.  One of the tools we use to get through this is distraction, have you found something that works for you? 

 

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2 minutes ago, [[P...] said:

Hi @[Ma...], you mentioned in chat you’re having difficulty posting, are you still? 

I’ve read many of our members experience greater symptom severity during their periods, its pretty common.  One of the tools we use to get through this is distraction, have you found something that works for you? 

No I’m going to the hospital. 

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4 minutes ago, [[M...] said:

No I’m going to the hospital. 

I’m sorry to hear this, what symptoms are causing you the most distress, is there something we can help you with? 

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1 hour ago, [[P...] said:

I’m sorry to hear this, what symptoms are causing you the most distress, is there something we can help you with? 

Severe adrenaline rushes, no sleep, cortisol rushes, akathisia.  Severe side effects to the meds I’m on I’m kindled. Suicidal thoughts and obsessions. 

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I can see you’re miserable but agree, if you’re in this much pain and emotional distress, then going to the hospital feels like the  right choice at this time.

I hope you’ll let us know what they do for you, do you have family support? 

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6 hours ago, [[P...] said:

I can see you’re miserable but agree, if you’re in this much pain and emotional distress, then going to the hospital feels like the  right choice at this time.

I hope you’ll let us know what they do for you, do you have family support? 

I ended up not going my family stayed with me all day and helped. Unfortunately the days get worse and worse. I’m 5 months out from cold Turkey ssri and starting benzo. I am kindled as I’m on Ativan, Lunesta and viibryd and monthly getting worsening side effects to all. I am sensitized as well. Every time I get my period my withdrawal symptoms and my side effects to the drugs get worse. Is there a possibility of me stabilizing? Or will I have to cold Turkey everything again? 😞

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I’m glad you have family support.  Can you explain more about being kindled, have you started and stopped benzodiazepines in the past?  https://www.benzoinfo.com/kindling/

I’m concerned about your use of Lunesta, are you dealing with interdose withdrawal from that?  I used Ambien and was miserable every waking moment until I could take my pill at bedtime. 

As for stabilizing, can you share with us your dosing schedule for the Ativan, how many times a day are you dosing?  

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2 hours ago, [[P...] said:

I’m glad you have family support.  Can you explain more about being kindled, have you started and stopped benzodiazepines in the past?  https://www.benzoinfo.com/kindling/

I stopped trazodone when I got pregnant in March. I stopped cold turkey, and I lost the pregnancy and then tried to reinstate with resulting sensitivity to it and also to the Viibryd that I was on at the time.. I have been on ssris for 18 years on/off. I also became hyper sensitive to caffeine, alcohol, herbs, food.We had no idea what was going on so my doctor tried to bridge me to Prozac, and I developed Akathisia that was so severe. I reinstated the Viibryd and They started me on Ativan. This was in June I was never on the same dose. I was just taking it as needed every day basically .25 mg up to 2 mg a day I have been down to .25 mg a day For the last eight weeks. However, I am still experiencing severe side effects to the Viibryd and now I’m starting to get side effects from the Ativan. I am literally reacting to everything and the withdrawal symptoms which are waking up, incredibly anxious with Akathisia, cortisol spikes, ect are just unbearable. I had a moment of clarity for two weeks during the middle of my menstrual cycle and I tried to drop my dose to 0.237 mg just to see if anything would change and when I got my period everything went south—way worse withdrawal symptoms, waking with the most insane anxiety Iv ever had in my life, and worsening side effects to the drugs.

 

 

2 hours ago, [[P...] said:

I’m concerned about your use of Lunesta, are you dealing with interdose withdrawal from that?  I used Ambien and was miserable every waking moment until I could take my pill at bedtime. 
 

I don’t believe I am getting intrados withdrawals with this. The half-life of Lunesta is longer than Ambien didn’t want to be on this, but I was getting in Akathisia whenever they tried me on a sleeping pill that was serotonergic or an antipsychotic like Seroquel.I have been sleeping pill dependent for 18 years since I have been on ssris. I will literally go a month without sleeping. I was clearly Gaba deficient, and the Lunesta worked.

 

2 hours ago, [[P...] said:

As for stabilizing, can you share with us your dosing schedule for the Ativan, how many times a day are you dosing?  

I take 0.237 in the morning only. I took an extra 0.25 this morning which is the first extra dose I have taken in six weeks because I was suffering so much. I was about to just down the whole bottle so I figured that was a better alternative. I really wanted to get off of the benzo and then take my time over the course of several years coming off of the Viibryd since I’ve been on that so long but it doesn’t seem like I can get off. 

 

ps.. I feel like whenever I get my period I’m going through worse withdrawals that get worse by the month. I’m not stabilizing at all. I truly feel that the SSRI reinstatement did not work. I tried going higher on the dose, but got even more severe side effects. I’m clearly serotonin and Gaba deficient and sensitized. Not sure where to go from here. Doctors keep telling me to hold but I’m just getting worse.

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Your story is very complicated, I don’t know what to tell you, I’m so sorry.  Have you thought about joining https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/, they might be able to offer some suggestions.  

It sure seems like a good idea to hold off tapering anything until you can stabilize, but it seems like you’re getting worse, not better.  How did the extra .25 mgs Ativan work out, did it help? 

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11 hours ago, [[P...] said:

Your story is very complicated, I don’t know what to tell you, I’m so sorry.  Have you thought about joining https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/, they might be able to offer some suggestions.  

It sure seems like a good idea to hold off tapering anything until you can stabilize, but it seems like you’re getting worse, not better.  How did the extra .25 mgs Ativan work out, did it help? 

Iv been on that site for months. It doesn’t seem anyone there can help me either. Is stabilization possible? Yes it did help slightly.

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11 hours ago, [[P...] said:

Your story is very complicated, I don’t know what to tell you, I’m so sorry.  Have you thought about joining https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/, they might be able to offer some suggestions.  

It sure seems like a good idea to hold off tapering anything until you can stabilize, but it seems like you’re getting worse, not better.  How did the extra .25 mgs Ativan work out, did it help? 

I have a question. Iv been cutting 0.5 mg pills in half to get the 0.25 and slowly reduced to 0.237 mg a few weeks ago. I noticed the new prescription the pills don’t weigh the same so I did the math and new weight conversion. Now that I’m thinking of it, the pills are not scored so how do I know Im getting the same amount of medication? Have I been totally screwing myself? 

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I’m glad to hear the increase helped a little, I wonder if this is what you’re going to need to do in order to stabilize?  I may have missed in an earlier post but if Ativan was helping so much, whey did you begin to taper it?  Was it no longer effective? 

Typically, scored tablets will guarantee equal doses but members have been able to successfully taper cutting their pills into fourths and eighths, so while it isn’t ideal, I don’t think this is the reason for your distress.  It feels like your central nervous system is messed up from the other withdrawals and nothing is going to help until that settles down. 

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5 hours ago, [[P...] said:

I’m glad to hear the increase helped a little, I wonder if this is what you’re going to need to do in order to stabilize?  I may have missed in an earlier post but if Ativan was helping so much, whey did you begin to taper it?  Was it no longer effective? 

Typically, scored tablets will guarantee equal doses but members have been able to successfully taper cutting their pills into fourths and eighths, so while it isn’t ideal, I don’t think this is the reason for your distress.  It feels like your central nervous system is messed up from the other withdrawals and nothing is going to help until that settles down. 


thank you. And I had a period where I seemed to get better so I came down and I was just taking it daily as needed until I started taking 0.25 daily as I could tolerate my symptoms without more..

 

do sensitized nervous systems that are this bad heal? 

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18 minutes ago, [[M...] said:

do sensitized nervous systems that are this bad heal? 

I believe they do yes, your body is always working to get back to homeostasis, where all functions are working at optimum levels. 

You didn’t say why you started tapering the Ativan, you mentioned it was a “life saver” when you first started taking it.  If it wasn’t causing you problems, I wonder if you could find a stable dose and stay on it long enough to recover from the other medications.  

 

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48 minutes ago, [[P...] said:

I believe they do yes, your body is always working to get back to homeostasis, where all functions are working at optimum levels. 

You didn’t say why you started tapering the Ativan, you mentioned it was a “life saver” when you first started taking it.  If it wasn’t causing you problems, I wonder if you could find a stable dose and stay on it long enough to recover from the other medications.  

I started coming down because I started taking it for akathisia, cortisol/adrenaline spikes. Those had improved. Now they are worse. I’m also developing increased dizziness and sometimes increased anxiety after taking my dose. So I’m afraid to go up. I’m trying to get off all drugs. I started with one drug and now am on three lol

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Are you suspecting a paradoxical reaction to the Ativan?  We don’t see this very often, yes it can happen but a true paradoxical reaction is rare.  You mention the anxiety doesn’t happen every time, does the dizziness?  I guess I’m trying to find another cause for these symptoms so you can continue the Ativan in the off chance it could help you.  Pushing benzodiazepines isn’t my normal behavior but I’m grasping at straws trying to help you figure this out.

 

I’ve read members mention their A/D not working for them anymore so their doctor will switch them to another, has your doctor suggested that? 

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1 hour ago, [[P...] said:

Are you suspecting a paradoxical reaction to the Ativan?  We don’t see this very often, yes it can happen but a true paradoxical reaction is rare.  You mention the anxiety doesn’t happen every time, does the dizziness?  I guess I’m trying to find another cause for these symptoms so you can continue the Ativan in the off chance it could help you.  Pushing benzodiazepines isn’t my normal behavior but I’m grasping at straws trying to help you figure this out.

I’ve read members mention their A/D not working for them anymore so their doctor will switch them to another, has your doctor suggested that? 

Iv been on them all over 18 years, only one that ever worked was the one I’m on. Now I’m basically stuck on it to eat and it might be working slightly, but I’m having severe side effects to it now that I never had before. When I stopped it I couldn’t eat at all had total gastroparesis and debilitating mental symptoms. I still have these but not as severe as off of them. I’m still in paws even though I’m back on the med. yes I get dizzy from Ativan everytime I take it. I just feel unwell after I take it now, when I first started taking it I felt great. Im hypersensitive to everythjng though. Im reacting to b vitamins, caffiene, herbal teas anything neuroactive whatsoever. 

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On 25/09/2023 at 16:54, [[P...] said:

Are you suspecting a paradoxical reaction to the Ativan?  We don’t see this very often, yes it can happen but a true paradoxical reaction is rare.  You mention the anxiety doesn’t happen every time, does the dizziness?  I guess I’m trying to find another cause for these symptoms so you can continue the Ativan in the off chance it could help you.  Pushing benzodiazepines isn’t my normal behavior but I’m grasping at straws trying to help you figure this out.

I’ve read members mention their A/D not working for them anymore so their doctor will switch them to another, has your doctor suggested that? 

It’s not letting me post on anyone’s topics or any other posts but mine. Do you know why? 

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